Defibrillator FAQ

Why does the defibrillator only advise a shock some of the time?

The AED will only shock two heart rhythms, called ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. There are however other rhythms which are associated with sudden cardiac arrest but these can’t be treated with a defibrillatory shock, in which case the only form of treatment until the ambulance arrives is good quality CPR. This is why the AED Plus® and AED Pro® not only provide a shock but also coach the rescuer in delivering good quality CPR using our Real CPR Help® technology.

What is Real CPR Help?

Real CPR Help®, a technology developed by ZOLL® and incorporated into all our defibrillators, provides real-time feedback to the rescuer on the rate and depth of chest compressions during CPR. This technology is clinically proven to improve the quality of CPR delivered to victims of a cardiac arrest by up to 277%.

What is the life of the batteries?

The batteries supplied with the AED Plus last up to 5 years in standby mode and will provide up to 300-400 shocks from new or 13 hours of continuous monitoring. Replacement batteries can be purchased either through ZOLL or from most retail stores, making them easy to replace when needed.

What is the life of the electrodes and are they re-usable?

The CPR-D-padz® electrodes that are supplied with the AED Plus device have a shelf life of 5 years and are designed to be used only once.

Can the electrodes supplied with the AED Plus and AED Pro be connected to any other defibrillator? For instance those used by the ambulance service?

The electrodes can be connected directly to any other ZOLL defibrillator. If the ambulance service or hospital use equipment manufactured by another source then adapters may be used to connect the ZOLL electrodes to the alternative device.

Can the AED Plus be used by anyone even if they haven’t had any training?

The Resuscitation Council (UK) take the view that an AED can be used safely and effectively without previous training, however where possible, training should always be given. The AED Plus has been designed to provide graphical, written and audible prompts to help the rescuer as much as possible through the resuscitation process.

Is it difficult and costly to maintain the AED Plus?

Once installed, the AED Plus has the lowest total cost of ownership. Unless used, there is nothing to replace or buy for up to 5 years. The AED Plus also carries out regular automated self-tests to ensure a constant state of readiness. If the device detects a fault or the need for battery/electrode replacement, the indicator window will display a red "x" and will be accompanied by an intermittent beep.

The AED Plus is not the cheapest on the market. Why should I choose this device?

There are cheaper devices on the market but they do not provide the same CPR coaching support that the AED Plus offers. So you need to ask the question, "Is good quality CPR important in the survival of a cardiac arrest patient?" Would you and your staff be confident in delivering consistent and good quality CPR over a prolonged period of time – in a stressful rescue situation? To deliver good quality CPR, you need the AED Plus. No other device on the market can provide this level of support.

Can I be held liable?

In the UK there is currently no law that protects bystanders from performing CPR in a cardiac arrest situation. However, legislation was introduced in October 2007, under the Mental Capacity Act, that stipulates if the casualty lacks capacity to make a decision themselves, which would be the case in a cardiac arrest, the rescuer can perform CPR if they believe it is in the best interests of the casualty. To date, there have been no reported cases where a successful claim has been made against a rescuer that has helped resuscitate a casualty in an emergency.

Should AEDs only be used by medical professionals?

AEDs have been designed specifically with lay rescuers in mind. For this reason, the AED Plus includes graphical, written, and audible prompts that guide these rescuers through the full Chain of Survival, helps them perform high-quality CPR, and delivers a shock when necessary. If no shock is advised, CPR is critical in order to pump oxygenated blood around the body to the vital organs until the ambulance arrives and takes over.

What do I do if I have a technical fault with a ZOLL device?

For any technical problems, please contact ZOLL’s UK-based technical service team on 01928 595 163 or

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Well done team First Response (First Aid) Ltd and a big thank you goes out to our customers for providing us with so much positive feedback.

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